Dec 19, 2018
Excellent course for beginners with enough depth, programming and computational theory to increase their computer science knowledge to a higher level. It builds a good foundation of how computers work
Feb 04, 2019
The course is very well-designed and it helped me develop understand how to apply computational thinking in solving various types of problems as well as acquire basic skills of programming in Python.
par Quan M T•
Mar 04, 2019
The course is generally good. However, the assignment content and the lecture are not really getting along, especially the Python part. I suggest more "bridging" materials.
par Levi T S•
Mar 13, 2019
This course surprised me. As a programmer by trade these are my thoughts...
Week 1 (Problem Solving) - Good for beginners (and scatter brained intermediates).
Week 2 (Algorithms) - This was interesting and professionally useful. Algorithms include: Linear, binary, greedy, and brute force.
Week 3 (Computer Architecture) - Basic outline of how the cpu deals with information and a brief history of computing. Overall not professionally useful, but interesting.
Week 4 (Python Programming) - Brief intro to python and applying what you have learned by writing python scripts. This was the easiest module for me (and probably for anyone with coding experience).
par Jill N•
Oct 09, 2019
The first 3 weeks of the course were great. It really helped change my way of thinking to solve large complex problems. I can use this in my role as a Business Analyst.
The lecturers presented the materials in a clear manner, with real life examples to help the understanding.
Then, came the python coding. The first few modules of the Python section were fine. Then came section 4.7 It was a lot more difficult than the others, and I found that the helpdesk was slow to respond. It took longer than it should have to complete that section, but I pressed on.
Then, there was the final test. Section 4.8. There were some concepts in this exam that were not included in the lecture material. The online help was non-existent. It took DAYS to get a response from the TA in the discussion group. Even then, the response was not particularly helpful. We were then told to send a problem flag to review the code (since we were not allowed to share the code in the discussion group.) I submitted a problem ticket a week ago, and still have not received a response. Keep in mind that I'm not a developer.
I found help in other places, and was finally able to complete the assignment. It's a shame that the problems with the last section of the course seemed to take away from what was otherwise an excellent course.
par Natalie D•
Feb 11, 2019
I thought this course was excellent except for a few small things. I've done a handful of online "learn to code" courses and this was by far the best one to help understand the foundations and actually what you are doing when you code. The videos were really helpful as well as the assignments which I thought were a good balance of challenging but not too challenging. There were two specific things I didn't like as much, particularly the quizzes at the end of each lecture and the format of the delivery of the assignments. I thought that the quizzes were so short that they didn't deliver a ton of value. With respect to the assignments, I thought that the assignments themselves were excellent but the long multi-page PDFs for each coding assignment were overwhelming and often had details buried within them that were really important. I'd recommend a short bulleted summary of requirements up at the top or something to make it clearer. Other than that, I thought this was an excellent course!
par Jared A•
May 10, 2019
The most frustrating learning experience I have ever had. I should not have to google for 70% of what should be taught in the lessons. Quizzes and exercises use material not covered in the lectures.
Apr 21, 2019
Really great course. The professors do an amazing job teaching the fundamentals that can be transferred across all of computer science. Instead of learning one programming language, they instead teach you how to think like a computer scientist, which is far more valuable because it will enable you to "connect the dots" from one language to the next.
par Robert K•
Mar 25, 2019
Great course. Good mixture of video lectures, quizzes, and peer graded assignments. Four stars because in some of the assignments it was unclear as to what was being asked or required until you saw the rubric for the first time. I think some items that were asked for in the rubrics were not obvious/inferable from the prompts.
par Terri T•
Sep 04, 2019
Everyone will not be able to complete this since it does not offer additional resources that are relevant to the assignments. I tried and will not finish as it has become to time-consuming. I am learning however, there are not examples or help for you if you do not understand the instructions.
par Matthew B•
Jul 31, 2019
Impossible to get any feedback. Very hard to follow what the requirements are at the end.
par Krishna M•
Jan 06, 2019
I loved this course on computational thinking. Unlike other courses which focused only on a specific programming language (such as Python), this course gave me a deep dive into computational thinking, a foundation learning, behind any types of programming. Not having a computer science background, but having done some Python experience, I lacked the basic concepts of computational thinking. This course provided just that! It covered pillars of computational thinking, simple algorithms, flowcharts, pseudocode, memory usage in CPU as it relates to programming concepts, and introduction to Python. The course includes several quizzes, but most importantly, great assignments that helped me solidify my understanding of the course material. A highly recommend this course even if you have not worked with any programming languages before!
P.S. If you have never worked with Python before, I would recommend keeping aside some extra time during Week 4.
par Dhouglas C•
Nov 03, 2018
Finally Professors that know how to teach over video. Easy to digest examples, study cases with cc explaining how the voice over relates to the theory. It seems the University of Penn has entered the online course market to make a difference.
par Garret B•
Oct 01, 2019
Very well thought out. This course covers simple concepts while still being engaging and challenging. Examples from varying disciplines help illustrate concepts in a real-life context.
par Raymond G L K•
Nov 02, 2019
Course content is good, graded assignments are good, I just had problems with my assignments in week 4 as I easily became confused with the implementation of all the lessons combined.
par Deleted A•
Nov 18, 2018
An excellent bridge into introductory computer science topics. Professors Susan Davidson and Chris Murphy exposed learners to computer science concepts within everyday problems.
par Bobby M•
Feb 15, 2019
Thoroughly enjoyed the course. If you are new to computer science or need a refresher of the basic concepts you learned in high school / college, this is the perfect course
par Henry C•
Aug 31, 2019
Enjoyed the learning and the structure of the course. Felt like I got a good introduction to Python. Learned a bunch about algorithms. I marked a star off because the online grading sometimes was vague. Additionally, it took a while to get feedback. I had a bit of programming experience, so I didn't have a huge challenge, but I can imagine if you are totally new, the assignments are really hard. It would be difficult to get the help and feedback that you need on their online forum system.
par Matthew M•
Aug 09, 2019
the auto-grader for programming assignments can be a bit unforgiving at times, but the course is challenging and thorough for a month-long course. Would recommend. To improve experience with the auto grader some more hints in the assignment page could help, for example offering some explanation of the return function before, rather than after, a quiz that required its use.
par Joseph R•
Jun 28, 2019
The course is great. I learned a lot. The support for the course is SUPER slow. It's hard to get any direct help for any questions or issues that you are having. Beware of assignment 4.7!
Jun 25, 2019
Overall, great. However, I think the programming assignments were too hard to just do right off of the lectures. Needed extra research.
par Tomas L•
May 25, 2019
Great! I learned the value of planning before coding. However, I would like this course to be more challenging.
par Renée F•
Mar 08, 2019
could benefit from more active assistance with assignments, especially section 4
par Jim C•
Nov 19, 2018
The instruction -- as well as production quality -- of the course was outstanding, the course was very well paced and laid out, with each new week building upon learned concepts from the previous. I had done some online tutorials in various coding languages in the past, but this course is different in that it devotes the majority of the time to really break down a problem and think about it -- computationally -- before writing a single line of code. This made the final portion of the course, implementing the solution in Python, so much more rewarding, enjoyable and fun. It all came together and I just felt so satisfied seeing the results.
The instructors (Chris Murphy and Susan Davidson) did a truly outstanding job explaining each concept and walking through examples to reinforce -- and both even threw in some humor for good measure, which helped to soften a very scientific and stereotyped field.
This course was a great intro for those questioning whether or not they are truly interested in Comp Sci, as it makes you take a simple everyday problem and think about it in a computational way. There are thousands of coding tutorials online but I would highly recommend taking this course first as it acts as almost a primer to getting your thought process in the right mindset before even looking at a programming language.
par Irina M•
Dec 19, 2018
Thank you very much for introducing me to the world of Computer Science! Having nothing to do with Computer Science before, I took this course as it sounded very interesting and I thought it may be something I can take interest in. I am looking for a career change and the worst thing for me was not to completely understand what kind of job I would enjoy doing other than teaching, or real estate. I am happy my research led me to this amazing course that introduces people just like me to some basic ideas of Computer Science. My goal is to enroll into the MCIT ONLINE program, this program sounds very interesting to me especially after taking this course. Thank you very much for coming up with the idea of creating Computational Thinking course and the degree for people with non-Computer Science background!
Aug 25, 2019
I highly recommend taking this course, whether you are aspiring to be a developer, looking for a better way to solve problems at your job or school, or are interested in computational thinking. I apply concepts from this course - drawing flow charts and writing pseudocode - at my job as a Salesforce Admin and noticed that I can solve harder problems quicker. The only thing that did not work out for me a couple of times was that assignments are peer-graded. As a result, I failed two assignments on a first try when I was positive that my solutions were correct. If that happens to you, just make sure that you resubmit the assignment and eventually one of the peers who understand your solution will be able to grade it correctly.
Many thanks to the instructors and the team who put this class together!
par Jennifer M•
Aug 19, 2019
The first three weeks of the course were excellent, especially the way in which algorithms are explained. Students then have the opportunity to gain experience via various assignments. The issue for me came in week 4. While the assignments at face value were not overly complex, completing them took more time than they should have. That is due partially to having to conduct research outside of the course materials in order to accomplish the objective. If this was made clear in the instructions it would have been less of an issue. Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed the instructors, and the TA was very responsive to questions/problems.